More than 300 illegal aliens signed voluntary departure forms on Monday, the second day of the Population and Immigration Authority's extensive campaign to deport illegal aliens.
The Authority said 66 illegal African immigrants, most of them from South Sudan, were arrested during the day. "We are carrying out our mission with resolve and sensitivity – this is out motto," said Idan Levy, a law enforcement official in south Israel.
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Following Sunday's wave of arrests, Immigration Authority inspectors had a harder time locating illegal migrants who have yet to arrange their voluntary departure from the country. In Eilat it appeared as though many of them remained in their homes for fear of being arrested.
Africans in Tel Aviv prepare for deportation (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
Levy's team of inspectors in Eilat has yet to encounter any violence. "The South Sudanese nationals understand what is going on, and they have expressed a desire to go home," he told Ynet.
"Naturally, there are cases that touch us. Of course it's not pleasant to arrest children, woman and people in general and deport them from the country they have been living in for a number of years, but a decision was made, and it is our duty to carry out the government's policy."
Migrant arrested in Eilat (Photo: Yair Sagi)
Dean Akkot, a South Sudan migrant who lives in Eilat, already visited the local Immigration Authority office to sign a voluntary departure form. "I want to leave Israel, but first I want to receive my last paycheck. I'll probably be able to leave the country on June 30," he told Ynet.
A Ghana national who was arrested by Immigration Authority inspectors in Eilat said he also wants to leave Israel voluntary, but added "I have yet to get the money I am entitled to from my employers.
The Israel Prison Service said it is prepared to absorb 3,000 illegal aliens, but estimated that the number of jailed migrants would be lower.